Alright, I’ve had it. I’m waving the white flag in surrender on this craft project.
You guys, I can’t even tell you how many coats of spray paint went into the making of my most recent crafty project. And in the end, it still looks awful! While I had hoped to have a beautiful before and after of a thrift store craft for you today, I have instead decided to admit my failures and take a break from this project.
Short story is, my project failed miserably. Here’s the long story (with pictures):
As many of you know, I’m a participant of the Thrift Store Swap, a group of bloggers that each hunt a thrift store for two treasures under $10. Then, we ship our thrifty finds to another blogger in the group and another gal ships us a thrifted gift to makeover. Laci, the blogger over at Sequins in the South mailed me two thrift store finds to make over this month, one of which was this silver picture frame… …which I transformed into this adorable framed boxwood wreath and shared with you a couple weeks ago. That framed wreath project felt like an awesome craft win, and I was excited to get started transforming the second item Traci sent me, which was this 10×10 inch framed mirror: The wood frame was begging to be decorated in some way. I knew it would be perfect to include in the holiday art on the brand new picture ledge I was planning to build for above our couch. I showed you that project a couple weeks ago in the Christmas tour of my living room, but you’ll notice the mirror is nowhere to be found.
That’s because I was stumped.
When I was first deciding what to do to this mirror, I thought it would be nice to simply paint it a glossy white. But that wouldn’t make for a very interesting blog post, so I tried to dream up something more creative. In hindsight, a simple coat of glossy paint would have been a much better idea.
My first idea was to cover the frame with rope, inspired by this photo:
Good idea, right? I’ve been liking having more texture in my decorating lately, so I was thinking some thick rope on the mirror’s frame would be perfect. Well, I really wish I would have taken some photos, but I didn’t. So you’ll have to just imagine for a second how my rope mirror went. I heated up my glue gun and got to work outlining the frame with rope. My rope was too thick to turn the sharp corners (since my frame was square), so the corners looked really funky. Oh, and the glue wasn’t holding the rope very well, plus the more I messed with it, the more the rope frayed. And, as with any hot glue project, there were little strings of glue everywhere. This idea failed pretty quickly.
So I decided to try a different idea.
I love color block and paint dipped projects, so why not do that to the mirror? First, I sanded off the glue remnants from the rope fiasco. After giving it a nice coat of white paint, I covered up part of the mirror with painter’s tape and painted the exposed part aqua. Here’s what it looked like: I just wasn’t feeling it. It looked very blah to me. Oh, and I painted it with a brush, which left streaks that I didn’t care for.
So I decided to try a different idea.
After mulling over options in my head all last week, I remembered some cool textured vases I saw on Pinterest a while back. The texture was made from hot glue, and I thought I could use that technique to jazz up my frame. After a quick Pinterest search, I found this picture to use as inspiration:
They made the dots on their vases with puffy paint, which I didn’t have on hand. But I remembered seeing a similar project that used hot glue. So I dug out my hot glue gun again and set to work dotting my entire frame. It sounded like a good idea, but it took a lot of practice to get to the point where my dots were fairly uniform. I should have taken a video of me trying to pry out-of-place and wrong-sized dots of glue off of the frame with a flat head screwdriver. It’s amazing I didn’t hurt myself! After prying off an entire row of dots, I realized that the wood was so soft that I had left indentations where my screwdriver had been. Whoops. I forged ahead anyway, figuring more dots and a coat of paint on top would disguise my screwdriver marks. I knew the dots weren’t perfectly spaced or perfectly sized, but I kept telling myself it would have more character if it wasn’t factory perfect. I wasn’t totally sold on my dots, but it was already Sunday afternoon at this point and I wanted to get the project finished and up on the blog for Tuesday. So, I added several coats of white spray paint, allowing for dry time in between each. I couldn’t for the life of me get enough coats to cover up the old aqua paint underneath. And the more I looked at the frame, the more I couldn’t handle the imperfect dots. It looked horrible. I should also point out that the little stringy pieces of glue you get with a glue gun were all over this project. I thought I’d cleaned up most of them, but the white spray paint drew attention to the fine glue strands running between many of the dots.
I hated it.
So I decided I’d have to try a different idea.
I laid in bed Sunday night considering options for resurrecting this project. The bumpy dots were limiting. I came up with the idea to upholster the frame with fabric, figuring a little batting under the upholstery would mask the dots of glue. I even got excited, realizing I was working with a wooden frame that I could pound pretty nailhead trim into.
But I wasn’t convinced my last-ditch effort would pan out.
Upholstery sounded like an awful lot of work for this little frame, I didn’t have any of the supplies, I didn’t have the time, and I was fed up.
I was sooo over this project.
So, after weeks of attempting to complete this thrift store makeover, I’m surrendering and admitting my failure(s). This mirror may make a reappearance one day when I have a fresh idea, but for now it’s going into hiding in my basement. This project would have been much better off with a simple coat of glossy spray paint on the frame.
The moral of this story: Sometimes simple projects are the best.
Not every craft project has to be elaborate. And not every craft project turns out perfectly, even the projects done by all the bloggers out there who appear to be constantly knocking it out of the park with picture-perfect projects. I promise you, they have their fair share of craft fails, too. Let this be a lesson to you that if something doesn’t work out the first time, it’s okay to abandon that idea and try something else. And sometimes, it’s perfectly acceptable to take a break from a project and come back to it with a fresh perspective later on. After all, life will go on with or without a perfectly decorated mirror. Laci, I’m really sorry to have ruined the fabulous mirror you thrifted for me!
What’s the most memorable craft fail you’ve experienced? Leave a comment!
I want to wish you a very merry Christmas week. This will be my only post of the week, but I have a few things planned for next week and we’ll be kicking off the new year with some great organizing tips. I hope to see you back here soon! Merry Christmas! Oh, and if you’d like to check out some of the other (non-fail) Thrift Store Swap projects from this month, here you go:
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